Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Hotel row sparked Vegas shooting

Smoke and flames billow from a burning vehicle following a shooting and multi-car accident on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas (AP/Erik Lackey)

An argument at a Las Vegas hotel triggered a shoot-out that left three people dead and at least six injured, police said.

Horrified tourists watched the dramatic shooting, saying it was like something from a Hollywood action film.

Bullets flew from a black Range Rover at a grey Maserati as the vehicles raced towards a red light on the Las Vegas strip. Beneath the neon lights, police say, the Maserati ran through the red light at a busy junction and smashed into a taxi that exploded into flames early yesterday, killing the two people inside.

Three more cars and a truck also collided at a crossroads home to several large casinos, leaving at least six more people injured as the Range Rover sped off in the pre-dawn darkness. The Maserati driver was pronounced dead at the hospital, while the shooting sparked a frantic search for the occupants of the Range Rover.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the incident happened after a row in the valet area of the nearby Aria hotel-casino. He insisted the violence at the junction of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road did not reflect the values of the residents or visitors to Las Vegas. "What happened will not be tolerated," he said, promising the shooters would be "found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law".

On the Strip, the fiery rampage shocked English tourist Mark Thompson, who was visiting from Manchester with his wife. He said: "This doesn't happen where we come from, not on this scale. We get stabbings, and gang violence, but this is like something out of a movie. Like Die Hard or something."

Police said they were contacting authorities in three neighbouring states about the Range Rover Sport with dark tinted windows that fled the scene.

The driver and passenger in the taxi were killed, while the male driver of the Maserati also died, and his passenger was shot.

It marked the latest violence on the Strip since the beginning of the year. Two people were critically injured in a shooting at a parking garage on February 6, and a tourist was stabbed last Saturday in a lift at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

The area near the scene has been the site of high-profile violence in the past. Rapper Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996 in similar circumstances, as assailants opened fire on his luxury sedan from a vehicle on Flamingo Road. The killing has never been solved.

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